Thinker’s Links

On this page, you will find:
…articles I enjoyed (given my diverse interests, I included links to each category below…)
…that cover interesting activities/stories — or maybe just make you say “hmmmm”cu
…and that generally take a more optimistic outlook than much media today.

For A Better World/Life  »»»  The Human Condition & Social Media »»»  Inspiration  »»»  Education/Arts  »»»  Science/Health/Technology  »»»  Cultural & Historical Connections  »»»  Communications/Marketing/Privacy  »»»  Animals  »»»  Government, Law, Enforcement & The Constitution  »»»  Economy/Environment  »»»  Satire

For A Better World/Life

The Amazing Psychology of Japanese Train Stations
Allan Richarz, CityLab/The Atlantic, May 2018
NOTE: Hmmm… maybe blue lighting and music instead of buzzers would keep things calm in schools too. Or maybe now that they have train stations down to a science, the Japanese could come up with some other subtle, creative way to make American schools safer, since we don’t seem to be making much progress…

The Hardest Job in the World: What if the problem isn’t the president—it’s the presidency?
John Dickerson, The Atlantic, May 2018
NOTE: Has ‘job creep’ made the presidency too big NOT to fail? A solid case for reforming the roles and responsibilities of the U.S. President… Food for Thought (excerpt): “…we should notice that CEOs are selected through a process that is far more careful and deliberate and rationally destined to pick candidates who fit the job.”

Why Paying It Forward Is the Best Part of Travel
Tim Cahill, AFAR, Apr. 2018

Martin Luther King Jr.’s Daughter Embraces His Hope for the Future
Bernice King, The Atlantic, MLK Issue 2018

Parents of successful kids have these 12 things in common
Rachel Gillett and Yu Han, Business Insider, Dec. 2016

Unlikely friends are teammates for life
Ron Kantowski, LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL, Apr. 2013

A decade later, still no justification for discrimination
Steve Sebelius, LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL, Mar. 2013

Benefactor, schoolchildren both benefit from ‘paying it forward’
Brian Nordli, LAS VEGAS SUN, Mar. 2013

Time for national talk about nuclear war (Modern nuclear war deterrence begins with nuke locks)
Tim Weiner, Bloomburg News, Mar. 2013
NOTE: This is a topic that can no longer stay on the back burner. Reading “The Fate of the Earth” by Jonathan Schell many years ago in college has always stuck with me — and we know fanaticism knows no bounds.

Democrats, Dragons or Drones?
Thomas Friedman, New York Times, Mar. 2013

Supreme — but not infallible
Jeff Jacoby, Boston Globe, Mar. 2013

The Pulse: Cameras belong in the courts
Michael Smerconish, Philadelphia Inquirer, Mar. 2013

Marches of Folly
Paul Krugman, New York Times, Mar. 2013

Mayor Bloomberg as Dr. Doom fighting super-sized sugary drinks
Leonard Pitts Jr., Miami Herald, Mar. 2013

Collaborate vs. Collaborate
Thomas L. Friedman, New York Times, Jan. 2013

Suffering Fools Gladly
David Brooks, New York Times, Jan. 2013

It’s time to value the rest of life
Paul Harasim, LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL, Jan. 2013

This bus’ next stop: doing good
Nita Lelyveld, Los Angeles Times, Dec. 2012

How to Read in 2013
Ross Douthat, New York Times, Dec. 2012

Don’t let ‘later’ stop you from living fully now
Barbara Shelly, Dec. 2012

Lady Gaga’s Anti-Bullying Effort Taps Yale Expert
Associated Press, Dec. 2012

The Human Condition & Social Media

The Internet Apologizes…
Noah Kulwin, New York Magazine, Apr. 2018

Could Facebook Be Tried for Human-Rights Abuses?
Ingrid Burrington, The Atlantic, December 2017

How to Stop the Bullies
Emily Baselon, The Atlantic, Mar. 2013

Is Mexico the Comeback Kid?
Thomas L. Friedman, New York Times, Feb. 2013

Swartz Suicide Propels Facebook Search for Danger Signs
Elizabeth Lopatto, Bloomberg News, Jan. 2013

Internet shifts rape stigma to perpetrators
Joanna Weiss, Boston Globe, Jan. 2013

At CES, Clinton says social media help fuel, solve global policy debates
Ron Sylvester, Vegas Inc., Jan. 2013

Murder in Pakistan sparks anger at country’s elite
Adil Jawad and Sebastian Abbot, Associated Press, Jan. 2013


The women who risk their lives for others’ rights
Lara Owen, Women’s Affairs Journalist East Asia, BBC, May 2018

Susan Kigula: The woman who freed herself and hundreds from death row
Megha Mohan, BBC Stories, Apr. 2018

Yeasts of the Southern Wild
Roy Blount Jr., Smithsonian, June 2013

Haitian amputee makes comeback on dance floor
Trenton Daniel, Associated Press, Jan. 2013


The Kids Who Are Cleared to Leave Psychiatric Hospitals—But Can’t
Duaa Eldeib & ProPublica Illinois, The Atlantic, Jun. 2018
NOTE: Absolutely horrifying! How, in an allegedly advanced society, can this be allowed to occur? No wonder there are problems with violence and deteriorating education levels in schools today. Children with special needs need to be nurtured, not hidden away with no exposure to mentors, learning, or growth. We, as a society, have got to find a better way.

What’s Going On With New York’s Elite Public High Schools?
Syed Ali & Margaret M. Chin, The Atlantic, Jun. 2018

One Ohio School’s Quest to Rethink Bad Behavior
Katherine Reynolds Lewis, The Atlantic, May 2018

The Perks of a Play-in-the-Mud Educational Philosophy
Conor Williams, The Atlantic, Apr. 2018

When Disadvantaged Students Overlook Elite Colleges
Adam Harris, The Atlantic, Apr. 2018

Why American Students Haven’t Gotten Better at Reading in 20 Years
Natalie Wexler, The Atlantic, Apr. 2018

Julie Washington’s Quest to Get Schools to Respect African-American English
William Brennan, The Atlantic, Apr. 2018

The Myth of ‘Learning Styles’
Olga Khazan, The Atlantic, Apr. 2018

A Landslide of Classic Art Is About to Enter the Public Domain
Glenn Fleishman, The Atlantic, Apr. 2018

The Company Working to Make Dance More Inclusive
Lea Marshall, The Atlantic, Feb. 2018

‘He’s smashed up the classroom’ – How I got help for my disruptive son
Adam Eley & Andy Smythe of the Victoria Derbyshire programme,, Feb. 2018

Global education rankings to measure tolerance
Sean Coughlan, BBC, Dec. 2017

Turning 3-Year-Olds into Scientists
Alexandra Ossola, The Atlantic, Nov. 2014

Early number sense plays role in later math skills
Lauran Neergaard, Associated Press, Mar. 2013

‘Looper,’ in-theater podcasting and the new normal of audience engagement
Ann Hornaday, Washington Post, Mar. 2013

Navigating the grammatical thicket
Joan Wickersham, Boston Globe, Feb. 2013

How we can get in concert to enrich our children
J. Patrick Coolican, LAS VEGAS SUN, Jan. 2013

CCSD marks opening of new Variety School campus for special-needs students
Paul Takahashi, LAS VEGAS SUN, Jan. 2013

Technology is key to student achievement, former NYC schools chief says
Paul Takahashi, LAS VEGAS SUN, Jan. 2013


The Next Plague Is Coming. Is America Ready?
Ed Yong, The Atlantic, Jul./Aug. 2018
NOTE: A lot of important and frightening facts in this in-depth analysis. We definitely need stronger leadership on these issues globally. Much thanks to those doing what they can with what they’ve got…

How the Enlightenment Ends: Philosophically, intellectually—in every way—human society is unprepared for the rise of artificial intelligence.
Henry A. Kissinger, The Atlantic, Jun. 2018

Your Body is a Teeming Battleground
Victoria Sweet, The Atlantic, May 2018

The Last Days of the Blue-Blood Harvest
Sarah Zhang, The Atlantic, May 2018

The Scientific Paper Is Obsolete
James Somers, The Atlantic, Apr. 2018

Drug Use Is Detectable on Your Fingerprints
Rod McCullom, The Atlantic, Apr. 2018

Science Still Bears the Fingerprints of Colonialism
Rohan Deb Roy, The Conversation/, Apr. 2018

Huge Dinosaur Footprints Discovered on Scottish Coast
Michael Greshko, National Geographic, Apr. 2018

There’s No Scientific Basis for Race—It’s a Made-Up Label
Elizabeth Kolbert, National Geographic, Mar. 2018

The Struggles of Women Who Mask Their Autism
Francine Russo, The Atlantic, Feb. 2018

2 stem cell patients stop HIV drugs, no virus seen
Eileen Ng, Associated Press, July 2013

How Not to Die
Jonathan Rauch, The Atlantic, May 2013

The Robot Will See You Now
Jonathan Cohn, The Atlantic, Mar. 2013

Army urged to do more with alternative medicine techniques
Keith Rogers, LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL, Jan. 2013

Health care technology at your fingertips
Reed Tuckson, M.D., Huffington Post, Jan. 2013

Hunger Games: The New Science of Fasting
Emma Young, New Scientist, Jan. 2013

Hacking the President’s DNA
Andrew Hessel, Marc Goodman, and Steven Kotler, The Atlantic, Nov. 2012
NOTE: This is interesting (and scary) stuff.  While there are real possibilities in DNA sequencing for changing the game with respect to terminal and/or debilitating illness, there are much more ominous possibilities as well.  The more we know, the more dangerous we are.

Cultural & Historical Connections

How Lebanon Transformed Anthony Bourdain
Kim Ghattas, The Atlantic, Jun 2018
NOTE: Bourdain’s work, particularly “Parts Unknown,” really shaped my thoughts about and approach to travel. I think, in large part, it’s the empathy thing Kim so beautifully describes.

A ‘Catastrophe’ That Defines Palestinian Identity
Hussein Ibish, The Atlantic, May 2018
NOTE: The history we aren’t typically taught in this country explains so much of the current world confict. Colonialism, discretionary borders, and territory assignment (or more likely reassignment), displacing people from ancestral homes arbitrarily and often violently. What I find most shocking here is that people who were displaced unfairly and violently from their homes (and managed to survive when so many did not) then imposed unfair and violent displacement on others, with the support and influence of a third-party “world power.” Stories of the Holocaust have always caused me great dismay and distress, but how do two wrongs ever make a right? They can’t and instead act as an accelerant, as is so obvious in this situation. Seventy years later, the resentment and sense of privilege continue to fester, and the flames are repeatedly fanned. It never ceases to amaze me how little “humanity” humankind displays in so many scenarios or how pain seems to breed so little compassion or empathy. There has got to be a better, more humane way to heal and find peace.

The Scientific Detectives Probing the Secrets of Ancient Oracles
Kevin Krajick, Atlas Obscura, May 2018

British Library Online Gallery

Artificial Intelligence Is Cracking Open the Vatican’s Secret Archives
Sam Kean, The Atlantic, Apr. 2018

It’s Disturbingly Easy to Buy Iraq’s Archeological Treasures
Sigal Samuel, The Atlantic, Mar. 2018

Royal Burial in Ancient Canaan May Shed New Light on Biblical City
Philippe Bohström, National Geographic, Mar. 2018

Tips From a Sign Language Interpreter for Overcoming Language Barriers
Anna Mindess, AFAR, Feb. 2018

When Scientists “Discover” What Indigenous People Have Known For Centuries
George Nicholas, The Conversation (, Feb. 2018

How Lewis and Clark Helped Shape American English
Rosemarie Ostler, Atlas Obscura, Feb. 2018

Where Old, Unreadable Documents Go to Be Understood
Sarah Laskow, Atlas Obscura, Feb. 2018

A Race Against Time to Excavate an Ancient African Civilization
Amy Maxmen, The Atlantic, Feb. 2018

Want to Build a Strong Fortress? Set It On Fire
Mark Strauss, National Geographic, March 2016

Why does Britain have such bizarre place names?
James Harbeck, BBC News, March 2016

BBC’s Museum of Lost Objects, No. 10: Looted Sumerian Seal
Kanishk Tharoor and Maryam Maruf, BBC News, March 2016

BBC’s Museum of Lost Objects, No. 6: Mar Elian Monastery
Kanishk Tharoor and Maryam Maruf, BBC News, March 2016

BBC’s Museum of Lost Objects, No. 5: The Lion of al-Lat
Kanishk Tharoor and Maryam Maruf, BBC News, March 2016

BBC’s Museum of Lost Objects, No. 2: The Temple of Bel
Kanishk Tharoor and Maryam Maruf, BBC News, March 2016

BBC’s Museum of Lost Objects, No. 1: The Winged Bull of Nineveh
Kanishk Tharoor and Maryam Maruf, BBC News, February 2016

Vast war letter collection shows sacrifice
Gillian Flaccus, Associated Press (Omaha World-Herald), July 2013

Airborne laser reveals hidden city in Cambodia
Kristen Gelineau, Associated Press, June 2013

Why Fire Makes Us Human
Jerry Adler, Smithsonian, June 2013

The Rise and Fall and Rise of Zahi Hawass
Joshua Hammer, Smithsonian, June 2013

Scholars find cannibalism at Jamestown settlement
Brett Zongker, Associated Press, May 2013

Human race is ‘essentially good’
Anthony Bourdain, CNN, Mar. 2013

Pompeii exhibition brings doomed town to life
Jill Lawless, Associated Press, Mar. 2013

Saplings From Anne Frank’s Tree Take Root in US
Pamela Engel, Associated Press , Mar. 2013

Stories of Holocaust survivors retold by holograms
John Rogers, Associated Press, Feb. 2013

Experts find remains of England’s King Richard III
Jill Lawless, Associated Press, Feb. 2013

Richmond museum unwrapping mummy’s story with CT scan
Michael Felberbaum, Associated Press, Feb. 2013

Researchers: Stonehenge started as huge graveyard
Sylvia Hui, Associated Press, Mar. 2013

Colosseum cleaning yields old frescos, graffiti
Nicole Winfield, Associated Press, Jan. 2013

Round 2 for Sloppy Joe’s bar, a Havana original
Peter Orsi, The Associated Press, Jan. 2013

National Library unveils trove of medieval manuscripts uncovered in Taliban caves
(Afghan Genizah Manuscripts Revealing Jewish Presence Unveiled At Israeli Library)

Aron Heller, The Associated Press, Jan. 2013

Soldiers of Misfortune
Tracy Kidder, The Atlantic, Mar. 1978

Concentration Camp
Dr. X, The Atlantic, Sep. 1939


Miniature horse aids Alaska boy with special needs
Dan Joling, Associated Press, Mar. 2013

Blind NH sled dog thrives with brother’s help
Holly Ramer, Associated Press, Jan. 2013


The E.U.’s New Privacy Laws Might Actually Create a Better Internet
Max Read, New York Magazine, May 2018

Google to publishers on GDPR: “Take it or leave it”
Chris Pedigo, SVP Government Affairs, Digital Content Next, Apr. 2018
NOTE: Certainly worrisome for all who operate in a global community…

NOTE: Given my formerly lifelong pride in being a dual-degree Spartan, I felt compelled to include commentary on why I have denounced my “green blood” as well as promote the little positive related to the issue to date. #ReclaimMSU

How Home-State Pronunciations Can Shape Elections
Ben Zimmer, The Atlantic, Mar. 2018
NOTE: This is particularly relevant to my lovely state of Nevada!

The New York Times Fired My Doppelgänger
Quinn Norton, The Atlantic, Feb. 2018

Viewers to choose ending of ‘Psych’ 100th episode
David Bauder, Associated Press, Mar. 2013

Living under the high-def digital spyglass
Jennifer Graham, Boston Globe, Feb. 2013

Nielsen to measure TV talk on Twitter
Jessica Goldstein, The Washington Post, Jan. 2013

Library of Congress has archive of tweets, but no plan for its public display
Adrienne LaFrance, Special to The Washington Post, Jan. 2013

List: No love for ‘fiscal cliff,’ ‘spoiler alert’
Jeff Karoub, Associated Press, Dec. 2012

Government, Law, Enforcement & The Constitution

Extinguishing the Beacon of America
Alex Wagner, The Atlantic, Jun. 2018
NOTE: So much for that “Give me your tired, your poor…” thing. Logically, I understand the deterrence strategy. But, as Alex states, “…deterrence will be futile: The terrors at home (as yet) still outweigh the trauma that awaits.” I can think of no other reason they would risk it, especially for their children. And, as an empathetic and humane global citizen, this heartless/soulless approach frightens and disturbs me, while the pragmatist in me wonders what future havoc will result from the childhood separation suffered.

John J. Lennon, Esquire, Jun. 2018
NOTE: How, as a (purportedly) advanced society, have we not figured out a more compassionate, productive way to address mental illness? So sad that a fellow inmate has to sound the alarm from inside — and yet an inspiration that he chose to do so. Here’s hoping his compelling prose somehow breaks through the status quo… There are so many reasons our system of incarceration needs a serious overhaul, but this is not one that is often discussed.

The Undemocratic Spread of Big Brother
Conor Friedersdorf, The Atlantic, May 2018

The Betrayal of Triste
Hannah Dreier, New York Magazine, Apr. 2018
NOTE: Sometimes there needs to be a dose of humanity, an ounce of empathy, and a pinch of integrity. It horrifies me that, at times, it has to go all the way to the judge before that occurs!

Women in Prison Take Home Economics, While Men Take Carpentry
Adam Harris, The Atlantic, Apr. 2018
NOTE: Another thing to put on the list for prison reform…

‘Corporations Are People’ Is Built on an Incredible 19th-Century Lie
Adam Winkler, The Atlantic, Mar. 2018

How Cities Are Fighting Secret Surveillance
Tanvi Misra, The Atlantic/CityLab, Mar. 2018

ACLU Sues To Halt ‘Unconstitutional’ Down Syndrome Abortion Law In Ohio
Amy Held, NPR, Feb. 2018
NOTE: This offers the basis for my “Ludicrous Legislation” thoughts

Why the Scariest Nuclear Threat May Be Coming from Inside the White House
Michael Lewis, Vanity Fair, Sep. 2017
NOTE: I have to say…this really is an eye-opener about USDOE and the breadth of risk and responsibility it holds. And it is the scariest thing I have read in years and years (probably since “The Fate of the Earth” by Jonathan Schell in college) because it confirms the things already at the top of my list and adds a few more…

(Gun control won’t break) The killing chain
David Brooks, New York Times, Mar. 2013
NOTE: This offers support for my “Band-aids won’t heal gun violence” thoughts:

ND gears up for legal dispute on new abortion laws
James MacPherson, Associated Press, Mar. 2013

Court: Drug dog sniff is unconstitutional
Jesse J. Holland, Associated Press, Mar. 2013

When They Get Out
Sasha Abramsky, The Atlantic, June 1999
NOTE: More support for prison reform…I would be very interested in seeing these statistics/figures updated now, nearly 20 years on, to see if the impact can be even more clearly demonstrated.


It Is Expensive to Be Poor
Barbara Ehrenreich, The Atlantic, Jan. 2014

World Bank highlights climate-poverty link
Jim Yong Kim, Associated Press, June 2013

What If We Never Run Out of Oil?
Charles C. Mann, The Atlantic, May 2013
NOTE: The unanswered question: What happens if we keep chipping away at (fracturing?) the structure of the Earth and sea?


A Feminist Looks Down From The Penthouse
Gina Barreca, Hartford Courant, Mar. 2013

Put Your Husband in the Kitchen
Helen Keller, The Atlantic, Aug. 1932

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